1.) Versatile– A good dog trainer will use techniques and training styles which are compatible with your dog’s temperament. Every dog is different, and some dogs respond better to certain approaches. What works for a Rottweiler won’t necessarily work for a Poodle.
2.) Experience– Theres lots of people who have been driving for years and still can’t parallel park! Dog training is the same way for the most part! Don’t measure a dog trainer’s skill by his number of years in the profession. Instead ask to see the dog trainer’s dog perform, and preferably around your environment, not theirs. It’s really nice to see if the dog trainer’s own dog can perform reliably in strange environments. If their own dog can’t do that I’d be skeptical when they tell you that your dog will be reliable. Also ask to see a clients dog.
3.) Cost– When you pay for training, make sure you are paying for results not for a specified number of hours or sessions. Good dog trainers know that every dog (and owner) is different. Some need more time to learn than others. Do they offer a follow up program? Expect to pay between $500 and $1500. Your goal should be to work with the best dog trainer you can find, not to haggle over the price. And in virtually all cases that we’ve seen, the dog trainers who are charging bargain basement prices are the ones who you probably don’t want to be working with in the first place. It’s better to spend your money intelligently on a high quality dog training program in the first place, than to waste your money chasing a bargain at a big chain pet store, and then have to pay more money for a good dog trainer somewhere down the line.
5.) Ask for a Free Consultation: You don’t need to pay a dog trainer to take a look at your dog. This should be done for free. And besides, you don’t want to pay money to meet a dog trainer, and then have to decide whether you want to work with him!
6.) Do they Bad Mouth other Trainers and there styles? Bad mouthing other trainers is definitely a sign to look out for. They are there to show you what they can do, and any hesitancy to have you also check someone else out should not be tolerated. It’s your dog, and your final decision.